A new internship programme to to help young black people develop careers in science and technology has been launched. 

The 2021 Black Internship Programme is a joint programme run by Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) and UK Health Data Research Alliance aiming to improve diversity in the sector.

Starting at the end of June, the initiative will provide opportunities for black people in their future science, technology and maths careers.

The 49 allocated interns will be completing six weeks of paid work experience across 23 Alliance partner organisations, including UCL Partners, Swansea University, Big Data Institute (BDI) and Genomics England.

Caroline Cake, chief executive at HDR UK, said: “As we have seen through the Covid-19 pandemic, health data science is essential to understand causes of disease and to prevent and treat disease. We need talented health data scientists who represent all of us to lead this vital work.

“This summer, our interns will learn about many difference aspects of health data science, build a community of future health data scientists, and help us create a sector that these scientists will thrive within.”

The scheme is part of the 10,000 Black Interns Initiative, which aims to offer 2,000 internships every year for five consecutive years across 24 different sectors, including health data research.

Camila Llanes-Kidder was offered an internship at the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Data Science Centre through the programme.

“I hope to further develop my skills as a data scientist as well as working in teams and learning from professionals in the field. This will support my aspiration to continue in the health data industry,” she said.